Something For My Friends To Read

Adam Fearnall
2 min readApr 28, 2022
Boys Come First, Aaron Foley

This morning I read this week’s edition of Notes From A Small Press, a regular newsletter from Anne Trubek, the founder and owner of Belt Publishing. I love what Anne does with this newsletter. It brings me into the world of publishing, invites me to discover new writers, and encourages me to pursue my own projects. Anne’s newsletter tone is witty, casual, provocative (in the “thought-provoking” sense of the word), and intimate.

This week’s edition Anne gives the newsletter to Aaron Foley, author of the forthcoming, Boys Come First. He shares a reflection about the relative absence (erasure?) of black gay novelists and black gay stories (all the while introducing me to stories by gay and black gay writers). Foley shares that he wrote Boys Come First because, “I wanted something for my friends to read.”

As I read Aaron’s newsletter piece this morning, I found myself considering the following:

  • What are seminal cultural texts/stories of “straight” culture? What patterns emerge when we start to name them? How do they shape our understanding of what is “other?”
  • What are my foundational stories? How do their subtexts shape my worldview? How do I accept and counter (dance with?) what they teach me to believe?
  • How would I describe the way that queer literature often resonates with me? How do I celebrate and honour its resonance?
  • What would it feel like to write a novel for my friends?

I’ll also mention that I’ve read three titles from Belt Publishing and recommend them all:

I’ve found shipping costs to be prohibitive when ordering directly from Belt to Canada, even when they have their super-amazing-really-discounted sales. I emailed Anne about this and she granted me moral permission to even order from Amazon because they can’t do anything to control international shipping rates. I tend to order from King’s Co-op Bookstore in Halifax.

Originally published at on April 28, 2022.



Adam Fearnall

Human, Organizer, Baseball Fan, Singer/Songwriter for @bethechase